Marston's has said it is on-track to build 25 new pub restaurants by the end of the financial year, as it announced its quarter three trading update.
The pub company – which also now runs franchises in around 550 pubs – said like-for-like sales for the 41 week period to July 18 were 1.7% ahead of last year, including like-for-like food sales growth of 1.6% and like-for-like wet sales growth of 1.6% at its destination and premium sites.
Tavern like-for-like sales for the 41 week period were 1.7% ahead of last year and in the last 10 weeks of the period, like-for-like sales were up 2.0%. While across its leased business profits are estimated to be in line with last year, with the average profit per pub up 4%. Marston’s said this reflected its now higher quality leased estate.
Excluding Thwaites, its own-brewed beer volumes were up around 4% compared to last year. Including Thwaites, own-brewed beer volumes are up 10%.
Ralph Findlay, chief executive officer said: 'Our investment in new-build pub-restaurants and premium pubs is in line with our plans and we have seen some of our most successful openings to date this year. We have also opened three lodges, and expect this rate of development to increase in 2016. We have good visibility over our site pipeline and remain focused on securing further good sites for our future growth. These investments, together with the disposal of smaller wet-led pubs and the growth of franchises, have successfully transformed our business over the last three years.
'In brewing, the post-acquisition integration of Thwaites' brewing business is now complete and has gone well. Our strategy is well-suited to leveraging market growth in local, premium and craft beers, and the increasing importance of the off-trade.'